The latest findings on what makes marriages strong.
Marriage research today has switched from predicting how many unions will crumble to uncovering what makes a marriage strong, says Bobbie Yagel, co-author of 15 Minutes to Build a Stronger Marriage The latest findings:
- Increase praise. Psychologist John Gottman, Ph.D., who has studied two thousand married couples, says a minimum of five positive interactions for every negative one is essential to marital bliss. Gottman encourages plenty of touching, complimenting, smiling and laughing, and warns against criticism, contempt and defensiveness.
- Touch often. UCLA researchers determined that meaningful touch is crucial to maintaining an intimate relationship. Other studies have found that women in particular need eight to ten meaningful touches a day to stay mentally and physically healthy.
- Make marriage a priority. According to a study of fifty happily married couples by psychologist Judith Wallerstein, all fifty believed that creating a successful marriage was the major commitment of their adult lives.
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